Third Symposium in the Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell Memorial Lecture Series

Thursday November 13, 2014

Cultural Centre, Little Bay, Montserrat

Theme “Arts and the Environment: Implications  for the Creative and Cultural Industries in the Caribbean.”

Feature Address – Professor Ian Boxill (PhD Sociology)

“Leveraging the Cultural and Creative Industries for Development in the Caribbean”

This paper will examine the potential for the development of a viable creative industries sector in the Caribbean. It argues that, once treated as a curiosity by policy makers, the creative industries which actually make significant contributions to the development of the economies and societies of the Caribbean, have started to gain recognition by development planners. This increasing recognition is true for both music and film.  The paper makes recommendations about how the film industry can be leveraged for development by focussing on a model that is being used at the UWI, Mona Campus.


Ian Boxill is the Carlton Alexander Professor of Management Studies and Director of the Centre for Tourism and Policy Research, at The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.  He also holds a personal Chair in Comparative Sociology at the UWI, Mona. A former Head of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, UWI, he is also the author/editor of 8 books, over 60 academic articles and has taught at universities in New Zealand, Mexico, the USA, and intermittently at the St Augustine and Cave Hill campuses at the UWI. He has consulted with or worked for various organizations, such as the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), the Department for International Development (DFID), CARICOM, World Wide Fund for Nature, UNESCO, UNCTAD, The World Bank, The Caribbean Tourism Organization, among others. He founded and edits the IDEAZ journal and Carib Xplorer, a science magazine. Boxill served as Associate Editor (Anglophone Caribbean) for the Mexican social sciences and humanities journal, Revista Mexicana del Caribe.  In 2012, he founded the UWI Community Film Project (UWICFP) which trains young inner-city youth from across Jamaica in film making. A component of the UWICFP is the exciting Greater August Town Film Festival (GATFFEST), a large community film festival that showcases the films of the graduates of the UWICFP alongside regional and international short films. The award winning UWICFP has thus far trained over 100 persons – some of whom now work in film and television in Jamaica. The programme seeks to transform Jamaica into the region’s largest film making location by providing opportunities in film and television to youth from marginalized urban and rural communities across the country.


Aurelia Bruce (MSc)

More than ‘Just Music’: The Economic, Social and Policy

Implications of Exporting Caribbean Music.

Though small in size, the Caribbean can boast of a vast creative pool and rich cultural traditions, which lay the foundation for creative enterprises. In fact, the impact of our culture can be seen across the globe and the earning potential of our creative industries cannot be doubted. However, as Caribbean countries attempt to diversify their economy, the mismatch between potential and actual earning is becoming more and more apparent. Therefore, sustainable solutions ought to be put in place to support the creative industries in becoming the viable export commodity that it can be. The necessity to utilize our creativity or, in Bruce’s words, our “natural resource” to bolster economic  development is also becoming apparent as innovation and human creativity is poised to underscore development in the 21st century and beyond.

This paper posits recommendations for the development of creative industries, (particularly music) regionally, and explores some of the challenges that the Caribbean has faced and will face in commoditizing and commercializing our music and culture.  One of these challenges, critical to the success of the sector, is intellectual property protection, which the paper will focus on. The paper will draw on examples of successes and missteps of regional artistes in commercializing our culture, to provide insight into the industry. Musical stalwarts like Arrow and the Might Sparrow and their importance, believe it or not, to industry development and the economy today will be highlighted. 2 The aim is to put creative industries within the scope of economic planning and development.


Passionate about regional integration and development, Aurelia Bruce sees services development as a key economic driver and platform for diversifying Caribbean economies. Within the services sectors, Bruce is particularly captivated by the potential of Creative Industries; having completed research and lectures in the field both locally and abroad for the past two years, and noting the significant contribution it can make to development in the region. She has had experience conducting trade-related research in both the Caribbean and Canada, and working with the Inter-American Development Bank as an Individual Local

Consultant in the development of the ICT industry locally. Bruce is currently a Research Officer at the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) where she participates in trade negotiations and consultations on behalf of private sector services firms. In addition to conducting trade research, she develops and analyses tools for surveys on Export Readiness, Risk Management etc. Bruce also writes for and edits the TTCSI Quarterly Magazine and iAffairs Canada.

Through a scholarship from the Canadian Government, Bruce undertook research in Canada in January of 2014. There, she worked on a range of projects on creative industries, trade policy, and coaching students at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University on CARICOM’s negotiating interests in the CARICOM-Canada dispensation, particularly in the areas of cultural and development cooperation. Bruce graduated from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, with an MSc. in International Trade Policy (with Distinction) and a BSc. in Political Science with Law (with Honours).


Shawn Daniel (BSc)

The Importance of Responsible Management of Natural Resources and Endemic Species to Promote Economic Growth and Preserve Cultural Identity Through Enhanced Ecotourism on Montserrat.

Montserrat, a small gem of an island in the Caribbean, is home to a number of plant and animal species found nowhere else on the planet, several of which are critically endangered. Since 1989, several natural disasters have impacted the island and as a result Montserrat has experienced a severe decline in tourism-based economy, not to mention a reduction in habitat and numbers of many of its endemic species. In recent months, the last remaining wetland on Montserrat has also been destroyed which has led to further reductions in important wildlife habitat on the island.

Much of the biodiversity and natural resources found on Montserrat are strongly connected to and associated with Montserratian culture, such as the critically endangered Montserrat Oriole (Icterus oberi), which is found almost exclusively in the Centre Hills – itself the most important wildlife habitat on the island. If preserved carefully and utilised well, Montserrat’s natural resources hold the potential to draw considerable tourism and, in turn, contribute to economic growth.

Careful and intelligent management of natural resources is a cornerstone for successful ecotourism. Although the level of endemic biodiversity on Montserrat is still quite high, recent catastrophic natural events have placed increased pressure on remaining pockets of suitable habitat such as the Centre Hills. It is critical that these areas, and their associated biodiversity, are preserved and managed correctly so that their full potential for ecotourism can be realised, and an important part of the island’s culture and identity is not lost.


Shawn Daniel is the current Project Scientist for Coral Cay Conservation (CCC), a UK based not for profit wildlife conservation NGO who has had a project based on Montserrat since June 2013 and work in partnership with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as well as the Montserrat Ministry of Agriculture (MALHE). CCC’s Montserrat Ridge to Reef Conservation Project (MRRCP) aims to enhance economic development through improved natural resource management in Montserrat.

Shawn graduated with a First Class Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from the University of Birmingham in the UK, and has worked on several overseas projects run by conservation NGOs. Aside from Montserrat, he has done fieldwork in the UK, East Africa, South East Asia and the USA. He is a certified PADI Divemaster and trained Reefcheck Eco Diver Trainer. He has extensive experience of surveying both marine and terrestrial biodiversity, as well as training volunteers in various survey methodologies.

As Project Scientist for CCC’s Montserrat Project, he oversees the entire conservation programme including scientific training, surveying, community education and outreach, and liaises with project partners. He has been working on Montserrat since November 2013, and during this time has come to deeply appreciate the beauty of the island, its culture and the importance of its biodiversity, which he hopes to see preserved for future generations to appreciate as well.


James Robertson (Phd)

Island Time:  Heritage and the comprehension of chronology

How are we to understand the time in the post-Emancipation West Indies and in Montserrat in particular?  Looking at heritage to ask what strategies communities use to understand “history” – and how such strategies shape individual societies can offer an alternative to familiar post-Emancipation historical narratives.  Various chronologies can be invoked, including the impacts of natural disasters and the ways they can shape survivors’ identities.  Incorporating further aspects of Montserrat’s heritage can contribute alternative perspectives onto the dynamics shaping the population’s experiences on an island that has been tied into the Atlantic economy for nearly 380 years.  Exhibitions at Montserrat’s new National Museum have highlighted the places individual export crops played in shaping the island’s societies:  with an inaugural special exhibit considering cotton, a sizable section of the permanent exhibit dedicated to illustrating the trade in limes and the ruins of the Little Bay plantation visible from its windows.  The insight can be extended further, not just in adding to the range of crops, but also in recognizing further links between the ebb and flow of exports and the pushes and pulls of immigration and emigration.  In framing narratives of Montserrat’ historical development, tourism becomes one more crop while migration is a continuing theme.


James Robertson is a Londoner who took his B.A. at Southampton University and his A.M. and PhD at Washington University, St. Louis.  He has been a member of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of the West Indies, Mona, since 1995.  There he teaches courses on early modern Europe, urban Jamaica and heritage.  (He has also taught at Washington University, Lansdown College in London and Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin).  He was trained as a historian of early modern Europe, and wrote his Ph.D. on London’s roles as a capital city, c. 1580-1642, but was also interested in the colonial capital cities erected in Europe’s new trans-Atlantic colonies and had cited the re-use of street names from London in Jamaica’s Port Royal.  When he reached Jamaica and went out to the Jamaica Archives Office in Spanish Town the archivist on duty told him “you don’t want to do Port Royal, everyone does Port Royal.”  His subsequent search for a topic led him to Spanish Town itself, the former Spanish capital of Jamaica, which the English re-used as their colonial capital until the 1870s.  A University fellowship from UWI Mona allowed him to start writing what became his first book, Gone is the Ancient Glory! Spanish Town, Jamaica, 1534-2000 (Kingston: Ian Randle, 2005).  He has continued to publish articles, in Jamaica, Britain and the United States on urban history, Jamaican history, creole architecture, archives and the writing of creole histories, and is currently writing a book on the Western Design of 1655, its causes and its consequences.  He is President of the Archaeological Society of Jamaica, a Vice President of the Jamaican Historical Society and a former Board Member of the now National Museums of Jamaica.  Last September he was elected a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Historical Society.


Cherry Ann Smart, MLS

Preserving Cultural Products:    Libraries, Context and Technology

Libraries remain crucial for the preservation and dissemination of cultural products in the English-speaking Caribbean.  Cultural products span the realm of traditional to contemporary artforms in diverse formats.  Technology has facilitated the process allowing cultural intermediaries such as libraries, museums and archives (LAMS) to extend their reach and expand markets.  Globalization has also impacted the process, weakening national boundaries to facilitate a polemically viewed transformation. This paper explores the role of libraries in the process, identifying challenges and opportunities as they affect national and regional institutions, and posits a way forward.


Cherry-Ann Smart is a Special Collections librarian at the University of the West Indies West Indies and Special Collection unit.  She has worked in the areas of health and law before transitioning to the field of Library and Information Science.  She holds a BA in History, a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and is currently reading for a Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science through the Queensland University of Technology and San Jose State University gateway programme.

Ms. Smart maintains an interest in public librarianship evident by her volunteer positions on the Board of the Jamaica Reading Association and the Kingston/St. Andrews Friends of the Library.  She is an active scholar and maintains membership in the Mixed Methods International Research Association (MMIRA), and the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST).  She has published several articles and a book chapter which focused on the areas of best practice approaches for Caribbean libraries to include e-consortia, customer relations, e-government, and preservation.  These have appeared in international and regional journals.


Linda Sturtz (Professor)

Musical Performance as Historical Text: Preservation and  Communication in Performance Practices.

In the process of studying a set of African influenced cultural practices in the Caribbean, I have encountered a number of verbal and visual representations of music and dance practices as performed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Although the authors and artists did their utmost to portray those performance practices as thoroughly as possible, they could never fully evoke the movement and sounds embedded in the live performances.  Nevertheless, these imperfect accounts provide some understanding of how performance styles functioned in the past.

This lack can be overcome by studying modern performances.  In some locations, including Montserrat, traditional practices have persisted.  Scholars have pointed out how the Dancehall parties of Jamaica, the extravaganzas of Trinidad Carnival, and the Joncanoe parades of the Bahamas have emerged from traditional practices.  These have become commercial endeavors that have attracted global audiences.

What, then, do the masquerade practices of Montserrat tell us about the people and culture of this island?  How do the practices serve as a “text” conveying messages to residents and visitors?  How do tradition and innovation interact?  How should the music that drives the dance be understood?  What is gained and lost in preforming for inside and outside audiences?  How can modern organizers address the potential conflicts embedded in balancing preservation and innovation?


Linda Sturtz is the Corlis Professor in the History Department at Beloit College in Wisconsin, US, where she teaches courses on the Early Modern Atlantic World and Public History.  Her first book, ‘Within Her Power': Propertied Women in Colonial Virginia discusses women’s economic activities in both local and trans-Atlantic settings while considering the legal actions propertied women took to protect the interests of themselves and their families.

More recently, she began studying extra-legal forms of cultural cohesion and social control, beginning with an investigation of community memory preserved in festive cultures in early modern Jamaica. From the 1770s, women’s bands processed in the streets of Jamaica during the holidays, but these groups died out in the late nineteenth-century, leaving us to wonder how the groups operated.  In order to understand the dynamics of a festive culture that continues to define community, she became interested in the masquerade in Montserrat.

In 2014, she and a student had the opportunity to observe masquerade in Montserrat and speak to some of the performers and their teachers in order to understand the dynamics of a festive culture that continues to define community.   Masquerade on the island provided a perfect opportunity to consider how traditions are passed through the generations and how performers adapt their messages and styles to meet new cultural agendas, preserving cultural memory while integrating new knowledge.